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Australian climate guide

Australian climate summary

The first thing you need to know about Australia's climate is that its seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere.

Summer   December to February
Autumn March to May
Winter June to August
Spring September to November


Due to the very large size of the country, weather conditions and temperatures can vary enormously throughout Australia so it is important to look at the weather conditions specific to where you are going to ensure you are well prepared. Much of Australia has a very warm, pleasant climate, with most of the country receiving more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. 

In summer the average temperature is 84°F (29°C). The hottest region is the northern two-thirds of the country which experiences humid and wet conditions during the summer. Further south, summer is warm with occasional hot spells and mild nights.

Winter averages 56°F (13°C) for the country as a whole with warm days and mild nights in the northern areas, becoming cool and showery in the south.


Main centre temperatures and rain days

Here are the summer and winter average maximum and minimum temperatures and monthly rain days for all of the main centres.

CitySummer averagesWinter averages
  High Low Rain days/m High Low Rain days/m
Adelaide, South Australia 28°C (82°F) 16°C (61°F) 5 16°C (61°F) 7°C (45°F) 15
Alice Springs, Northern Territory 36°C (97°F) 21°C (70°F) 5 20°C (68°F) 5°C (41°F) 3
Brisbane, Queensland 29°C (84°F) 21°C (70°F) 13 21°C (70°F) 10°C (50°F) 7
Cairns, Queensland 31°C (88°F) 24°C (75°F) 17 26°C (79°F) 17°C (63°F) 9
Canberra, ACT 27°C (81°F) 13°C (55°F) 7 12°C (54°F) 1°C (39°F) 10
Darwin, Northern Territory 32°C (90°F) 25°C (77°F) 17 31°C (88°F) 21°C (70°F) 1
Hobart, Tasmania 21°C (70°F) 12°C (54°F) 11 12°C (54°F) 5°C (41°F) 15
Melbourne, Victoria 26°C (79°F) 14°C (57°F) 9 14°C (57°F) 7°C (45°F) 15
Perth, Western Australia 30°C (86°F) 18°C (64°F) 3 18°C (64°F) 9°C (48°F) 17
Sydney, New South Wales 26°C (79°F) 18°C (64°F) 12 17°C (63°F) 9°C (48°F) 10


What to wear in Australia

Dress in Australia is generally informal and relaxed from shorts and jandals at the beach, to jeans around town. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants, bars and night clubs, with the exception of a few very formal hotel and exclusive bars/restaurants.

Business attire is standard with most opting for suits and ties, however even rules around this dress code is becoming more relaxed, with most businesses now opting for a 'casual Friday' each week.

In summer pack a light jacket and sweater just in case the weather turns cooler, although this varies greatly depending on which part of Australia you are travelling through. Given the warm or hot weather in many parts of Australia during much of the year, it is important to pack some long-sleeved light shirts for sun protection, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

You will need warm clothes in winter throughout the south, so ensure to pack appropriately depending on where in Australia you are travelling to, and what activities you plan on doing.


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